Praise be to Allaah.
The du’aa’ mentioned was narrated in a hadeeth which tells a
story that is well known and widely circulated in chat rooms and forums, and
perhaps it is appropriate to quote it so that we may explain about it.
It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased
with him) said: There was one of the companions of the Prophet (peace
and blessings of Allaah be upon him), one of the Ansaar, who was known by
the kunyah of Abu Mu’allaq. He was a merchant who did trade with his own
wealth and on behalf of others, and he used to travel all over, and he was a
pious ascetic. He went out on one occasion and was met by an armed thief who
said to him: Give me what you have, for I will kill you. He said: You do not
need my blood, all you want is the wealth. He said: As for the wealth, it is
mine; all I want is your blood. He said: If you insist, then let me pray
four rak’ahs. He said: Pray as much as you want. So he did wudoo’, then he
prayed four rak’ahs, and among the words that he said in du’aa’ in the last
prostration were: “O Most Loving, O Most Loving, O Owner of the majestic
Throne, O Initiator, O Returner, O You Who do whatever You will, I ask You
by the Light of Your Countenance which fills the pillars of Your Throne, and
I ask You by Your Power by which You control all of Your creation, and I ask
You by Your mercy which encompasses all things, there is no god but You, O
Helper help me” – three times.
He said this du’aa’ three times, then he saw a horseman who
was holding a spear between the ears of his horse, and when the thief saw
him, he turned to him and stabbed him and killed him, then he turned to him
and said: Get up. He said: Who are you, may my father and mother be
sacrificed for you? Allaah has helped me by you today. He said: I am an
angel from the fourth heaven. When you said your du’aa’ the first time, I
heard the gates of heaven tremble, then when you said your du’aa’ the second
time I heard a noise from the people of heaven, then when you said your
du’aa’ the third time it was said to me: The du’aa’ of one who is in
distress, and I asked Allaah to let me kill him.
Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: So you should
know that whoever does wudoo’ and prays four rak’ahs and recites this
du’aa’, will receive an answer, whether he is in distress or not.
Narrated by Ibn Abi’l-Dunya in Majaabi al-Da’wah (64)
and al-Hawaatif (24). It was also narrated via this isnaad by
al-Laalkaa’i in Sharh Usool al-I’tiqaad (5/166), in a chapter
entitled Siyaaq ma ruwiya min karaamaat Abi Mu’allaq (Reports
of the miracles of Abu Mu’allaq). And it was narrated by Abu Moosa
al-Madeeni – as stated by al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar in al-Isaabah (7/379)
in his biography of Abu Mu’allaq al-Ansaari, and he quoted it in full in his
book al-Wazaa’if. It was narrated from him by his student Ibn
al-Atheer in Asad al-Ghaabah (6/295). All of them narrated it via
al-Kalbi from Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him).
But the report of al-Kalbi was unclear and the reports from
On one occasion he narrated it from al-Hasan from Anas – as
in the report of Ibn Abi’l-Dunya.
On another occasion he narrated it from al-Hasan from Ubayy
ibn Ka’b – as mentioned by Ibn Hajar in al-Isaabah, concerning the
isnaad of Abu Moosa al-Madeeni.
On another occasion he narrated it from Abu Saalih from Anas
– as in the report of Ibn al-Atheer from Abu Moosa al-Madeeni.
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
This isnaad is problematic, and the problem stems either from
the unknown al-Kalbi or from someone further back in the isnaad than him.
Al-Hasan – i.e., al-Basri – was mudallis and he used the word ‘an [meaning
“from”], so the isnaad is weak.
It is strange that Abu Mu’allaq is mentioned as being one of
the Sahaabah, but they did not mention anything to prove that he was such,
apart from this fabricated text with this weak isnaad. Hence – and Allaah
knows best – it was not narrated by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Isti’aab.
Al-Dhahabi said in al-Tajreed (2/204): He has an amazing hadeeth, but
its isnaad includes al-Kalbi, who is not thiqah (trustworthy). It is
narrated in Mujaaboo al-Da’wah, and you can see when you read it that he
said concerning al-Kalbi: He is not thiqah (trustworthy). This indicates
that no attention was paid to what he said in the isnaad, “he is not the
author of the Tafseer”, because al-Kalbi who is the author of the Tafseer is
known not to be trustworthy. It says in al-Mughni: They rejected him,
and he was regarded as a liar by Sulaymaan al-Taymi, Zaa’idah, and Ibn
Ma’een. He was also rejected by Ibn Qattaan and ‘Abd al-Rahmaan.
It is also strange that this story was quoted by Ibn
al-Qayyim at the beginning of his book al-Jawaab al-Kaafi li man sa’ala
‘an al-Dawa’ al-Shaafi from this report of Ibn Abi’l-Dunya, attributing
it to al-Hasan without commenting on its isnaad!
Al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah (5737)
Al-Kalbi has a corroborating report from Maalik ibn Dinar.
Al-Qushayri narrated a similar story in al-Risaalah al-Qushayriyyah
(2/85, 86, chapter on Du’aa’) and said:
Abu’l-Husayn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Bashraan in Baghdad told
us: Abu ‘Amr ‘Uthmaan ibn Ahmad, who was known as Ibn al-Sammaak, told us:
Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi al-Hadrami told us: Bishr ibn ‘Abd al-Malik told
us: Moosa ibn al-Hajjaaj told us: Maalik ibn Dinar said: al-Hasan told us,
from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) … and he quoted the
But this corroborating report is not valid, because there are
two problems with this isnaad:
Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Rabbihi al-Hadrami – I could find no
biography for him.
Bishr ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, who narrated it from Moosa ibn
al-Hajjaaj: I do not know him either. There were three men with this name
whose biographies I found:
Bishr ibn ‘Abd al-Malik
al-Khuzaa’i, their freed slave from Mosul, who narrated from Ghassaan ibn
al-Rabee’ and Muhammad ibn Sulayman Laween and a number of others.
Al-Tabaraani narrated from him.
Bishr ibn ‘Abd al-Malik Abu
Yazeed al-Kufi who settled in Basra. He narrated from ‘Awn ibn Moosa and
‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Ibraaheem al-Ansaari. Abu Haatim wrote
from him in Basra and Abu Zur’ah narrated from him. He was asked about him
and said he was a Shaykh.
Al-Jarh wa’l-Ta’deel by Ibn Abi
Bishr ibn ‘Abd al-Malik
al-‘Utbi, who narrated from Yahya ibn Sa’eed al-Ansaari. Abu Sa’eed
al-Ashajj narrated from him.
Al-Thiqaat by Ibn Hibbaan
As you can see, it seems that none of them are the one
mentioned in the hadeeth.
But al-Haafiz Ibn Makoola mentioned in al-Ikmaal
(5/101) a report narrated from Moosa ibn al-Hajjaaj under the name of
Bishraan ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, and he said:
As for Bishraan, he is Bishraan ibn ‘Abd al-Malik, and I
think he was Mawsili (from Mosul). He narrated hadeeth from Moosa ibn
al-Hajjaaj ibn ‘Imraan al-Samarqandi in Baysaan from Maalik ibn Dinar.
Perhaps this is the one who is referred to, and his name was
shortened in the book of al-Qushayri to Bishr.
As for Ibn al-Sammaak, he is thiqah (trustworthy). His
biography is in Siyar A’laam al-Nubala’ by al-Dhahabi
The same is true of Maalik ibn Dinar (d. 127 AH). His
biography is in Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb (10/15).
To sum up:
The story and the du’aa’ are not saheeh (sound) in any way
whatsoever, although there is nothing wrong with the phrases used in the
du’aa’; rather the words are sound and good, as testified by the texts of
the Qur’aan and Sunnah. But that does not mean that the one who says this
du’aa’ will necessarily be saved, or that we should believe that Allaah will
help the one who says it. Such matters depend on the soundness of the isnaad
going back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
As the isnaad in this case is not saheeh, we should not believe that. But if
anyone wants to memorize these words and recite them in du’aa’, without
regarding them as something that is prescribed in Islam, there is nothing
wrong with that in sha Allaah.
And Allaah knows best.